MANILA, November 22, 2016 (PNA) — Authorities today arrested Ronnie Dayan, the former driver-bodyguard of Senator Leila de Lima.
Police said Dayan was arrested at 11:30 a.m. in Sitio Turod, Barangay San Felipe, La Union.
Dayan fled his hometown in Pangasinan province and went into hiding when President Rodrigo Duterte tagged him as the former lover and bagman of de Lima in connection with the alleged illegal drug trade in New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
Joint elements of the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) La Union, the La Union provincial police, Pangasinan provincial police, and Bacnotan police arrested Dayan.
Dayan was brought to the La Union provincial police office proper disposition.
Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the arrest will give Dayan a chance to clear his name from allegations and help in uncovering the truth behind the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the NBP.
Aguirre said Dayan can provide information on the drug cases filed against him and his also former boss.
“His capture will tie up the loose ends and supply the missing links in the cases before the DOJ. It is also a chance for Mr. Dayan to clear his name so we encourage him to tell the whole truth of what he know,” Aguirre told DOJ reporters.
An arrest warrant was issued against Dayan after he failed to appear in a House inquiry on the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the national penitentiary.
During the House probe, the high-profile inmates testified that during de Lima’s stint as DOJ Secretary, Dayan served as her collector of the drug money raised by inmates for her senatorial campaign.
Dayan also faces drug raps at the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed by Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), former NBI deputy directors Ruel Lasala and Reynaldo Esmeralda and high profile New Bilibid Prison inmate Jaybee Sebastian.
The complaints stemmed from de Lima’s alleged involvement in the proliferation of the illegal drugs trade at the national penitentiary.
Aside from De Lima and Dayan, several former government officials and high-profile NBP inmates are also facing charges for violating Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act) for allegedly conniving with De Lima in connection to the said activity inside the NBP. (Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan/PNA)